Fungal Architectures H2020 is a research project aiming at implementing a fungal automaton at the architectural scale. From the speculative context that it offers us, students have been introduced throughout this workshop to stochastic modelling workflow to support mycelium-based designs. After a first workshop through which students built a sensitivity to the craft of mycelium composites making, this one focuses on predicting mycelial outcomes from complex substrates compositions.
Beyond the necessary technical sustainability of architectural projects, it is the porosity of designs to other living beings with differing environmental requirements that was investigated. This hands-on workshop was  the opportunity to question the role that agency delegation through indeterminacy embedding could play in the act of architectural synthesis: how much design agency do you desire to confer a mycelium? For it just became a demanding stakeholder in your design. Between hands-on experiments and computational simulation, students as groups have developed critical thinking on phenomena modelling as a prevalent activity in computational design, and on agency delegation in the act of synthesis. Through making, students developed a sensitivity to living materials – ones that embody propositions for post-anthropocentric designs.
The Prototaxites stellaviatori stochastic simulation model, taking the form of a Rhino-Grasshopper plugin, was provided as a central design tool. The model relies on water evaporation and capillary action dynamics to model fungal colonisation patterns in lignocellulosic substrates.
Two weeks workshop for the MA Computation in Architecture program, Royal Danish Academy.
Team: A. Rigobello, P. Ayres, C. Colmo, Y.-W. Ji (CITA).
Period: September 2020.
Illustration credit: A. Rigobello.